Colorado Opportunity Contract Program - Release: 3-9-2004
Institute for Justice and State File School Choice Briefs With Colorado Supreme Court
WEB RELEASE: March 9, 2004
CONTACT: Lisa Knepper; John Kramer (703) 682-9320
Washington, D.C. –The Institute for Justice and the State of Colorado today filed opening briefs with the Colorado Supreme Court urging the Court to overturn Judge Joseph E. Meyer III’s decision striking down Colorado’s Opportunity Contract program. The Court granted an expedited review of the case. Opponents of school choice have until April 5 to reply to the briefs filed by IJ and the State.
“The educational fate of thousands of schoolchildren hangs in the balance,” said Chip Mellor, president of the Institute for Justice and lead attorney for the Institute in its Colorado litigation. “We are hopeful that the Court will allow this vitally needed educational reform to move ahead. Too many children of Colorado are trapped in poorly performing public schools. They deserve the equal educational opportunities that this program provides.”
In its brief, the Institute for Justice argues that Judge Meyer erred when he ruled the Opportunity Contracts violate Colorado’s constitutional provision requiring local districts to have control over instruction in their public schools. The Institute asserts that the Opportunity Contract program is a valid exercise of the State’s authority and responsibility to provide equal educational opportunity. The program operates distinct from the public schools, as students using Opportunity Contracts attend private schools. The districts’ control of instruction in their public schools remains unaffected.